Eight autumn leaf craft ideas

There are several easy ways to extend the life of beautiful fall leaves while enjoying a creative activity with the kids

Eight autumn leaf craft ideas

Photo credit: Getty Images

To me, autumn means my favourite worn-in boots, cozy sweater weather, and a spectacle of colourful leaves to enjoy. Whether they’re crunching underfoot, floating in the wind, or piling up in the yard, leaves of all colours are the backdrop of the season. Montreal’s kaleidoscope of jewel-coloured trees are a treat for the senses, as each sugar maple, oak, and poplar compete for most vibrant, best colour, and most likely to cause passerby to say “look at this one!”

Determined to soak up every last bit of warm weather before bringing our winter coats back out, my kids and I have been spending hours outside. And as the leaves have started to fall, our neighbourhood strolls and hikes through the woods are taking a whole lot longer than they did during the hot days of summer. What used to be a brisk walk to get our heart rate up is now a meandering treasure hunt as my youngest son exclaims over each colourful leaf in our path — collecting fistfuls to carry home.

As the air chills and soup-making season starts, one of the best ways to appreciate the last hoorah of nature before it settles into winter is by bringing some of the fallen leaves home and preserving them to admire through the long days of December and beyond. But besides flattening them between the pages of your heaviest books, just what can you do with your collection? Next time you head outdoors, find some of the prettiest, most colourful leaves and get inspired with the ideas below.

Get creative with the family

It’s fun to create artwork using leaves — and you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the process. Grab your favourite crayon colours and unleash your inner child with leaf rubbings. At the same time, you can study the intricacies of each leaf and try to identify them by their shape and shade.

Whimsical animals

Leaves, paint, and paper are all you need to create these unique fluttery butterflies. Play around with different shapes and see what other animals you can come up with.

Seasonal wreath

Flatten out the pocketful of leaves, let them dry flat, and create this timely wreath using a store bought or homemade grapevine frame. Don’t be wary of making your own vine frame – I’ve done it and it’s super easy.

Decorate the walls

Create a collection of autumn leaves of various colours and shapes, mount them on thick card stock using glue, and frame them or pin them to the walls. Inexpensive and unique art that you can swap out with the seasons.

Math skills and creativity

If your little ones are learning about symmetry at school, this is a creative way to reinforce some of that learning without it seeming like homework. Use markers, colouring pencils, or crayons to draw in the missing half of your hand-picked leaves.

Holiday decor

Keep the autumn memories fresh by preserving leaves to use as holiday decorations come December. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge or glue and coat leaves with every parent’s favourite craft item — glitter.

 

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Pumpkins and spice and everything nice

It’s a 2-for-1 craft project as you get ready for Halloween while using up some of the leaves that have been carried home. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the backs of leaves and flowers, press onto your pumpkin and voilà. Easy and colourful decor to enjoy for weeks.

Inspire others

The Ça va bien aller/Everything will be all right rainbow movement is still going strong in windows around the province. Make use of the myriad of colours available in nature by creating a new, nature-inspired window decoration.


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